The magnificent structure of Castelvecchio which means the Old castle, hosts one of the fascinating museums, not only in Italy but in the entire Europe. The building exhibits exciting art collections and is well-known for its rich history and architectural value. Castelvecchio was built in 1355 by the Della Scala family, the ruling dynasty of Verona in the middle age. It was planned both as a defensive fortification and a home but was successively adjusted by future invaders such as Venetians, the French and the Austrians, which it was used as a barracks both during Napoleonic and Austrian rule.
Following radical refurbishment work, since 1928 it has housed the museum of Veronese art and sculpture from the Middle Ages onwards. During the Second World War Castelvecchio was damaged as it witnessed the melodramatic Verona trial in which Mussolini condemned to death the traitors of the regime together with his son in law. In 1957 it was rebuilt by architect Carlo Scarpa, which made Castelvecchio one of the most remarkable exhibition structure in the world. Even today, architects, professional planners and architecture students from all over the world, come to Castelvecchio to study the resolutions adopted by Carlo Scarpa for this museum. A building with as much artistic value as its components.
The Castelvecchio museum display begins at the ground floor with incredible exhibitions of Romanesque and Gothic sculpture. Work of art that still today amaze visitors with their expressive power. The art collections are displayed around the rooms and pathways inside and outside Castelvecchio courtyard, battlements, and walls. In the old Della Scala family residential structure, hosts the paintings gallery.
This is one of the most stunning section of Castelvecchio Museum; it is devoted to old gothic painting, which in Verona had an extraordinary development. You will also find some great artworks by medieval masters like Pisanello with his Madonna of the quail, which was part of a small domestic altarpiece in late Gothic style. It’s a Virgin with Child and two Angels sitting in a magnificent rose garden. Also, you will see the Madonna of the Rose garden by Stefano da Verona, which is a favorite painting for most visitors.
In following sectors are displays of early Renaissance works by local painters before the revolution caused by the altarpiece for Saint Zeno by Mantegna, together with works of art by Carlo Crivelli, Jacopo Bellini, Giovanni Bellini, and local painters including Liberale da Verona and Morone. Back in the wing altered by the French, after paying respect to the statue of Cangrande, placed by Carlo Scarpa as a connection point of all Castelvecchio parts and the external town, you will also see the collections of paintings from the 16th century onwards.
Here you will discover the masterpieces by Veronese artists such as Francesco Caroto Girolamo, Paolo Morando, and Girolamo dai Libri. In the 17th century section, there are the early works by Paolo Caliari, the Veronese, Bevilacqua Lazise altarpiece, and a magnificent Deposition. With these works his intellect was recognized and he became one of the most famous artists in the seventeenth century.
In Castelvecchio, you will discover a collection of precious 14th century jewels, ancient weapons and amour such as the sword of Cangrande, taken from his tomb when it was first opened in the late 1920s. The museum also holds temporary exhibitions in its Boggian room which is situated inside the Castelvecchio courtyard, on the right side.
Hope you will enjoy these Castelvecchio Museum highlights and appreciate all the works of art during your visit.